How to Make an /R and ER/ Sound The /r/ and /er/ sounds are very difficult sounds to make and teaching the "r" and "er" sounds can be challenging. Differences in tongue tip placements (up or down), "bunching" the tongue, the amount of tension of the tongue, and the extent of lip rounding are all contributing factors. However, one of the main components of producing the /er/ sound is where the sides and the back of the tongue touch. Two tongue positions for producing the /er/ are the "retroflexed" /er/ and the "retracted" ("bunched") /er/. The retroflexed /er/, ("flipped tongue"), is made with the tongue tip pointing upward and slightly backward behind the front teeth. The retracted or bunched /r/, ("fat tongue") is made with the back of the tongue pressing against the upper back teeth ("bite the back of your tongue") and the tongue is bunched toward the back. Here are a few suggestions for trying to elicit the /r/; retracted (bunched), retroflexed, or by using other speech sounds (coarticulation): * Have the child feel the position of the tongue as a long /ee/ is made. While saying "ee", lift the tip of your tongue toward the roof or your mouth. It shouldn't touch. This time, while your saying "ee" and your tongue tip is up, move your tongue back. Keep the back sides of your tongue next to your upper teeth. * Say "ah". While saying "ah", slowly lift the tip of your tongue up and back, then close your jaw. * Open your mouth and get ready to say /k/ or /g/. Put your tongue tip up and say/ /er/.